One of the hardest parts of being a horse trainer.

As my career has grown over the years the challenges have changed. There were difficulties in the beginning as we were newly married, starting a new business and having kids…all at the same time. I get tired just remembering it. There have been challenges of almost every size, shape and color imaginable; tractor break downs, lack of money, disappointed customers, spreader break downs, shortage of money, injuries to horses and humans…the list could go on and on.

Thankfully as our business has grown, as well as our ability to budget and plan much of this has improved. We can now predict the future in many cases…tires without tread blow more often…so we plan better.

But one area has gotten worse.

I can see potential in horses better. And it makes it hard.

While this should be an asset, and it is for the most part, it is also a difficulty. I am addicted to horses and I like to train them. I can see the potential in a mini and enjoy that process as much as the potential in a reining horse. Some people would say, “Train the reiner, it will be worth more in the end” but I see the horse as an individual more strongly than I do as a profit margin. If buying and selling horses was my business I would have gone broke years ago as I value a good home higher than the highest bidder.

While I have had to pass on the opportunity to own and/or train several horse in the months after selling our house the reality is that there will never be enough time for me to train all the horses I wish I could. Instead I must have faith that there are other good people out there who will offer these horses opportunity.

Stacy recently had the opportunity to work with Al, an off the track Thoroughbred.

Stacy recently had the opportunity to work with All Names Taken, an off the track Thoroughbred. Al is currently available for adoption from New Vocations Race Horse Adoption Program.


To learn more about New Vocations Race Horse Adoption you can visit them at 




  1. Kathy on October 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Stacy, I am also addicted to Horses .growing up as a young girl .. Grandfather was a live stock dealer .. Brought home horse and all other animals … Always loved and will forever love all animals on this earth.. I always pray to God to let me help him with his horses .. Most of my friends have horses thinking they have to keep up with the jones is .. Lol sorry .. But saw a lot of this … I don’t know everything I learn everyday with all horses .. They are all different just like people… I have saw many people get hurt with there horses .. I have learned through my years .. I have been to many clinics .. Love watching & learning .. I learn something with every horse I get to meet & work with.. I started my business working with horses .. Connected Horse Inc. but I am not good with .. I guess advertising my skills with horses.. And I think working & talking with the people..I feel like I can connect with the horse better then people.. So my feeling is help the horse’s . As you can see not good with writing all this … I am now working with 2 pregnant mares thoroughbreds . And took this job that doesn’t pay .. But it a great learning experience… I keep in my head “Star” Safe , Trust and Respect . I don’t get hurt & horse doesn’t get hurt … We both can’t do our jobs … I have a 4 year old thoroughbred horse / Rocky mount buckskin.. That I rescued . Over 16 hands … Beautiful horse did all the ground work & as I am older and have kids & grand kids makes me think .. I have been on him . 5 or 6 times .. But only have a round pen with sand footing .. No in door& good footing in his pen .. But I have to say back in my day .. I would just get on and ride the horse …also I am at a stand still .. With what bit to use … I measured his mouth he measured a 7 inch bit .. Hard to find .. Would like a full cheek snaffle .. But would like advice on other bits to start him in… Need some help in bits …
    Also if you are ever passing by New York / Newburgh you & your family are welcome .. Love seeing your post .. And have also camped and drove a motor home in Colorado.. Have room for your horses & motor home.. Safe travels.. Hope to meet you & your family someday.. In our back yard farm .. You are a great inspiration.. Thanks kathy Harder 914-213-5613 16 Sarvis Lane Newburgh New York

  2. Lindsey Doese on October 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Dear Stacy,

    You have been such an inspiration to me over the past few years! As I am beginning a new life with my husband, we are also trying to start ip our own horse training business! It has been very successful so far, but it is still a baby. I cannot wait to see what God has planned for us! I don’t know what He wants to use me for yet, but I know it will be incredible! 🙂

  3. Beverly Markiewicz on October 28, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Recently I had a bad accident with my potential world contender horse. We had been showing for about a year and doing very well on the local circuit. She spooked at the last show I was competing in and went up. I fell off and she lost her balance and landed on me. I was in the hospital & rehab about 1 1/2 months. I am now trying to decide what to do with her as I am not comfortable riding her. She is a western pleasure mare with a great bloodline and a nice mover. She has lots of potential but of course I have lost my confidence. My trainer in Ocala wants her back and has offered to continue showing her. I feel she needs to start over from the ground up which is not what a lot of breed trainers do. What would you suggest?

    • Stacy on October 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thats tough. I hope you heal up well. The mental part will be big too. You will know your horses history better. It is common for ‘show’ horses to lack the same foundation that a non-show horse would have. I always do both. Showing in a specific class is great but I also want to be able to act like a 12yr old kid might need to ride them and do crazy stuff with them…kiddie pools, tarps, trail rides, etc.
      The irony is that it makes them better show horses in the end. Check out this video:

      • Beverly Markiewicz on November 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm

        Do you have anyone you would recommend in Florida? I am willing to put her into training but would like to stay in Florida and have someone who is reputable. I am not that person anymore:(

  4. Calamity Rene on October 28, 2014 at 12:50 am

    It has been so hard for me to meet up with horses and assess them for people- then tell them, “No, I don’t think this is the right horse for you.” Today I met a horse who has potential, who I think could become a great horse for the right person. The girl who wants this Morgan mare is not the right girl for the horse. It wouldn’t work out. I told her that, and I explained the reasons why, so we’ll see what goes on with that. I think that’s been one of the hardest things for me in helping train horses and teach people horsemanship.

  5. michael kleier on October 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    OTTTB are good animals.patience and relaxation make a good horse

  6. Robin Bright on October 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    So what is Al’s strength going to be in?

    I hope that you are still considering doing some clinics too. I would love to come see one.

  7. Rose on October 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    This is so true Stacy, I am still in the exhausting moving to new area, raising kids, building the business part of my life. But I am also addicted to training and fixing horses as well as often find it hard to make the decision to walk away even when you see the potential or let the ones who have come so far be taken to another home, but like you said you have to have faith in the people who are buying them. I also believe in good home and right person over top dollar as well! Great article!

  8. Leslie on October 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    At times there seems to be more bad trainers than good trainers. There seems to be more good horses still going to slaughter opposed to them finding good homes.

  9. Madeline C. on October 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    If I could retrain race horses and find them good homes every day… I would give up just about everything to do that. I feel like there are so many people who spend more time training competition horses (which is understandable because that’s where the money is) instead of retraining that pony for a young girl who just wants to ride and be safe. What you do is an amazing thing and it’s amazing to see that you still have that mindset because I’ve seen too many trainers start to lose it. It’s about the horse, it’s never about the money. In the end, you can’t take the money with you right? Just the memories.

  10. Roberta Beene on October 27, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Stacy…I feel the same way. I fall in love with potential. Racehorses have heart…it cannot be denied. It is very hard for people to see with so many behavioral issues stemming from track life. You are a kind person for seeing value in a horse that others would throw their nose up at. When I was a kid, my folks owned a stockyard. Off the track horses would come through all the time. As a child all I could see was the beauty, hell that’s all I see now. Needless to say, they would often sell for little or nothing. So, I had my share of rehabilitating these horses. Yes they had their problems, but like every horse I’ve known once I’d reach in and turn the knob they open doors I never thought possible. Good on you for taking the time to write this. The article gave me some fond memories of horses past. Happy trails.
    ~Roberta Beene
    Rogue Mounted Archers

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